The Australian school teaching in Japanese
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The Australian school teaching in Japanese

Who has the Harry Potter game?
Definitely not me. Why not?
Because my mum, and iPad games… Pearl, do you want to come to my place?
You can try it. No.
John Webster is my name. I’m the principal at Wellers Hill State School.
We’ve commenced the bilingual program at Wellers Hill in 2014 after a year of intensive
research. My name is Sarah Prescott and I’m a parent
of Eliza. And she has been in the bilingual program
since 2014. When I speak Japanese I think it’s easy.
But, when I’m learning new words it’s a bit difficult – but once I’ve got those
words, it’s easy. All the research indicates that children who
are bilingual have better prospects in life, have better health outcomes…
There are various advantages for native bilingualism. But I … Universal Studios Japan, Hogwarts
and the Hogwarts ride… Because my eyes…
You didn’t go! I did.
But, if you do this with your eyes… I had my eyes…
Just like this… People who are native bilinguals, they actually
get their dementia 4.5 years later than if they were monolinguals.
When you’re natively bilingual, and let’s say there is a construction noise while you
are giving a lecture, you are more likely to be able to concentrate on your point.
So this has to do with auditory concentration. Next, does anybody remember what we get when
we add a circle to the ‘hi’ character? If you are natively bilingual, if you speak
two languages as your mother tongues, you are actually more clever than yourself as
a monolingual. Over 90 per cent of these children have never
experienced Japanese before year one. What kind of fruit do you like Riley?
Kiwifruit. So, say, “I like kiwifruit.”
I like kiwifruit. I’m Kristina and I’ve got two kids at
Wellers Hill doing the bilingual program. My oldest daughter Natalie was in the first
year that the program started and it was terrifying – it was exciting.
But it was also terrifying when it first started because we had no idea, really, what to expect.
My name’s Courtney Czechowski. I’m a parent at Wellers Hill State School.
I certainly know for my daughter, at about this time last year when she started, she
made the comment that she really liked Japanese but it was probably better that she went to
a school where they spoke English. So it’s great to see a year on that that’s
her favourite subject and she’s just passionate about speaking Japanese and learning Japanese
and practicing. The class has two teachers – a Japanese teacher
and an English teacher. They alternate every half a day.
I have an English partner teacher. So she’s the one teaching all Australian
curriculum in English. And I’m teaching Japanese literacy, maths,
science and geography in Japanese. There are some words that have been introduced
in English, but we can’t directly translate that into Japanese because it’s not an age-appropriate
word in Japanese. So we have to reword into the similar range
of words in Japanese and that’s the challenge that we have every term.
The unique things we’re finding are that the way that Japanese mathematics is taught
is really enhancing the way we’re now teaching mathematics on the English side of the program
as well. The soroban is the word for abacus in Japanese.
In my class we use soroban a lot. That helps to develop their abstract thinking.
Starting afresh: six yen, one yen, eight yen, four yen, six yen, two yen, two yen, nine
yen and nine yen makes? Was the last one nine?
Yes, Eliza? It’s forty-seven yen.
So they can say, for example, 565 divided by five.
They can do that in five seconds. It’s about a year-and-a-half into the program,
probably at that time point, I think I was just standing by lining up with the kids for
the class for the morning and Eliza started to talk Japanese to her teachers.
And I went, “wow, that’s unbelievable,” because, in contrast to my experience as a
language learner, I’d never gotten to the point where I’d been conversationally fluent
in Japanese. When you walk around the school now you can
see pockets, and hear pockets, of students speaking Japanese and students speaking in
English. If the kids approach one of their Japanese
teachers they will convert directly back to Japanese and speak to them.
And then if I’m walking past they’ll switch straight back to English.
My name is Kanon. I’m doing a homestay at Eliza’s house.
Your turn. That was fast.
Stormrider is my favourite ride. What’s that? Water?
Yes, the one with water – it’s high. So we went to Japan for two weeks, which was
essentially a visit to different cities and then the kids were able to go on a three-day
homestay. My homestay was a lot of fun because we played
a lot of interesting games. Natalie had the opportunity to do a homestay
when she was in Japan and she had this amazing time with her family who really welcomed her
into their home – but she got this snapshot into their life.
And she got to bathe in a traditional Japanese house, she slept on a futon in a shared bedroom,
she sat around the table on the tatami [straw matting] eating the meal with the family.
And, for her, she just came back speaking about it like it was this amazing experience.
My homestay family had a father, a mother, an older brother, an older sister, a younger
brother. I ate a lot of curry and rice balls during
my homestay. I’ve done lots of different things, but
this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever introduced in a school.
Because you can see the joy that the children are getting out of the program, the joy that
the parents are getting out of the program, the positive impact that teaching Japanese
in a bilingual fashion has had on our English study component – which is amazing.
But I think, certainly, understanding another culture and another country is something that’s
really nice to see happening so early. So, embedded within the curriculum for the
children are these cultural experiences, which I think has such great value in terms of our
global environment today. And I just think that that has been so valuable
for the children. I think that will really help them for the
rest of their lives. The bilingual program at Wellers Hill will
change the lives of these children for the better till they retire and beyond.
It’s an amazing thing. I probably won’t work in Japan, but I’ll
go to Japan a lot. If you can do half of your school year in
grade one and beyond in another language, you can do anything.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “The Australian school teaching in Japanese

  1. 3:31 めちゃくちゃタイプ、、、かっこいい

  2. サムネーから文法間違いですねー😅 日本語を話せます(X) → 日本語"が"話せます(O)

  3. I have nothing against Japanese and I find even interesting their language, but I’m seeing so much weird comments in here , like these children’s accent is not good enough or whatever .. I should say ,at least they are trying to learn your language .. and there are so many Japanese who have a really weird no clear accent when they speak English ! IJS…

  4. 日本語って難しいからな〜

  5. 日本人だがまったく聞き取れない。

  6. There is a school like this near me in the states however there is a good population of “native” Japanese students as well that attend the school, which probably helps give students a more natural accent.

  7. I'm just started learning Japanese, and I wish that I could be able to go to a school where they could teach me how to speak (and write) Japanese. (I'm 12 btw)

  8. 「日本語が」でよ。「日本語を」といわないないよ

  9. wow Australian students are not shy speaking Japanese, meanwhile Japanese students does not have confident speaking English.

  10. It's a great idea to make it a bilingual program because the only way to become fluent in a language is to immerse yourself in speaking it so that you think in that language rather than thinking in English and then translating as you go. Brilliant idea. I wish I had this opportunity to become fluent and bilingual

  11. なんでこんな恐れず喋れるのだろう

  12. Their accent really isn’t the greatest I must say. But I’m so happy and glad that these people are teaching the younger generation a new culture and language that might help them in the future and later maybe be more useful. Japan is growing so much of it’s popularity!

  13. It's funny reading the comment section. The only people saying that they sound awful are non Japanese who can't speak Japanese themselves. Japanese on the other hand seem to be praising the kids. For the people trying to bash them, you have an accent yourself when you speak, you just don't hear it so cut with the criticism.

  14. 専門的な語彙は私達以上にできても日本の若者が高い語彙を使う機会は限られてるし中年以上だと少ない語彙で後は察しろ文化が強いから日本語できてもまだまだ壁はあるんですよ…

  15. But why Japanese? Chinese would be better to learn since China is going to be important in the future economy. Or Spanish since it's spoken in lots of countries. Japanese is only spoken in Japan.

  16. i have seen many chinese always come to where everyone talks about japan and say chinese is better than this!!!!!!!!!!!!! chinese is better than japanese!!!!!!!!!!!!! chinese is language is better than japanese!!!!!!!!!!!!! chinese is center of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!! chinese chinese chinese chinese chinese!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. にほんごを いっしょうけんめい はなそうと がんばっている すがたをみて、にほんじんとして とても うれしく おもいます。
    これからも がんばって ください。
    いつか にほんで おあい できますように。

  18. The choice would be between 2 languages, Japanese or Chinese. The merit of each is as follows.
    1) Japanese merit is of user such as anime, manga and cutting-edge technology which only Japan can provide.
    2) Chinese merit is of seller. But you don't sell directly to those who don't speak English, do you? Also, it's English that you use for contract, isn't it? On the other hand, India would surpass China before long so that Chinese merit would diminish.

  19. The issue I've noticed with these types of language schools in the West, is that they really cheat their students out of a good language education.
    They don't teach proper grammar, nor do they do a good job correcting accents. And the best time to a native accent is before puberty.
    But they do a really good job at loading kids up with a bunch of words….

    When I was learning German in high school, most of my fellow students had gone to a German language elementary school. They knew a lot of vocabulary and knew a lot about German culture, yet they knew very little grammar. Because of that, I was able to catch up to their level within a year. Yet they had gone to a German school for 8 years.

    If these schools just focused more on grammar, they'd be a lot better. I mean, what are you going to do with a large vocabulary if you speak like a buffoon the whole time?

  20. こんにちは(*゚▽゚*) 日本語学校の皆さんですか?頑張って下さいね(^∇^)

  21. They all speaking polite words and it’s really weird to see kids using it because Japanese kids are not polite including me 😂

  22. オーストラリア人が日本語覚えても実用性があるのかわからんが、


  23. At first, I couldn't catch any words at all. After a while, I found they were speaking Japanese.
    They have so thick English accent that I can't understand even one word.

  24. Japanese population is drastically decreasing, and the country is just being lack of workforce.
    White people are always welcome!
    Japanese people are tired of Asian immigrants.
    We hope more white people live here and bring their superior genes.

  25. とても日本が上手です^^

  26. 公立小学校でここまで教育に力を入れていることはすごいです。

  27. As a Japanese person I’m just cringing at the accent but they are doing really well and it’s super impressive!

  28. 0:47 日本語喋るときは簡単、だけど新しい言葉を喋るときは難しい、でも覚えたら簡単👍

  29. I speak 3 languages but I don’t feel any more smarter ;-;
    tho I wish I had a school like that…too tired reading subs all my life…plus learning by yourself is hard ;-;

  30. 0:57 the girl speaks it so well. 7:10 does the girl have one japanese parent? she speaks it at 75% level of those of native speakers.

  31. I pass this school everyday! I’ve be learning Japanese for around 2 years at school but omg! These guys are amazing! 😀

  32. この学校じゃないけど日本語勉強してるオーストラリアの学校に留学したよ❗

  33. 凄いね。英語と日本語、両方出来る様になるのって、さぞかし頭を使うだろうし、日本と英語圏の膨大な情報の収集が可能になる。後は情操教育をしっかりすれば、きっと優れた人材が育つだろうね。

  34. wow, i hope that this catches on in the rest of the developed world. this practice could have a tremendous impact on future generations!

  35. みなさん上手ですね〜。日本で生活できるレベルですよ

  36. I hope there will be schools teaching in Chinese, it's a lot more beneficial and you have way more opportunities to practice it outside of the classroom.

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